A delegation of ten officials from Mali, Burkina Faso and Congo Brazzaville, yesterday, visited Rwanda National Police (RNP) to learn from the force’s strategies in prevention and fighting corruption.
The delegation was comprised representatives of different civil society organizations linked to Transparency International in their respective countries.
At the RNP General Headquarters, the team was received by the Commissioner for Public Relation and Media, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege alongside the Commissioner for Inspectorate of Services and Ethics, ACP Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi.
They briefed the officials on the ‘RNP role and strategy in preventing and fighting fraud and corruption.’
“Corruption is viewed as an enemy of the rule of law and a major obstacle to protection and promotion of human rights and development as it destroys the proper functioning of both public and private institutions; that’s why fighting it is part of the political agenda backed by strong public support,” ACP Mbonyumuvunyi said.
Graft, he added, manifests in various forms including bribery in form of money, moral, gifts, sexual and gratuities among others.
This, he said, can lead to lack of public trust and confidence and undermining of operational effectiveness of security services.
As part of the RNP to implement legal tools and policies, ACP Mbonyumuvunyi explained the force established an anti-corruption unit and runs campaigns in partnership with other public and private players in the anti-corruption sector to raise awareness against the vice.
“Any police officer caught in such malpractices is penalized accordingly including dismissal from the force, because there is zero tolerance to whoever is implicated in graft regardless of the rank or seniority.”
Public support through community policing, establishment of communication channels like toll-free lines to report police officers – twitter, facebook, online crime reporting, he said, has supported the police efforts in responding to the vice through information sharing.
ACP Badege told the delegation that besides several initiatives, no one is indispensable and that laws are very strict against any corrupt person.
He noted that the use of IT in policing has limited individual contact with police officers like in registration and processing of driver’s license while the created disciplinary unit within the force, internal audits and ethical trainings and standards keep police officers in check.
One of the delegates, Dr Abdoulaye Sall said: “Rwanda has managed to be where it is because of the political will and its committed leadership, that’s why we chose to learn from Rwanda and so far the finding are very impressive.”